Thursday, June 21, 2018

2005 WNV Archive

 

WEST NILE VIRUS SEASON 2005

The West Nile Virus season began on April 1, 2005, and the Lycoming County WNV Surveillance team has been busy collecting samples of larvae and adult mosquitoes as well as checking and treating for problem areas. This year, the emphasis is on treatment of high-density mosquito areas in populated areas rather than the collection of great quantities of samples. Along with mosquito sampling, the County also has a flock of sentinel chickens that are tested each week for indications of West Nile Virus. Information relating to tests results for Lycoming County as well as the State can be found through the PA Department of Health internet web site: www.westnile.state.pa.us. Our county surveillance team members are Carol Loveland and Steve Ryder who can be reached through the Penn State Extension office at 433-3040.

The surveillance team will be setting adult traps throughout the county.  These traps help to monitor the species and numbers of mosquitoes in various areas.  The traps can be of 3 different types, as shown below, and should not be disturbed.  They are normally set up one day and picked up the next.

 
September 8, 2005 - HARRISBURG -  State officials today reported mosquito samples testing positive for the West Nile Virus in these locations: Leetsdale Borough and the city of Pittsburgh (5 samples), Allegheny County; Mount Joy Township, Lancaster County; the city of Allentown (3 samples), Lehigh County; the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County.  (This makes a total of 13 for Williamsport so far this season)



September 8, 2005 - To date during this year's WNV Surveilance, there have been 15 "positive" WNV samples found in Lycoming County. 12 in the City of Williamsport, 2 in Old Lycoming Township and 1 in Lycoming Township. The local Department of Environmental Protection along with our County WNV staff have been pro-actively treating the most potential areas.

Throughout Pennsylvania, there have been 168 "positive" samples found in 25 counties. There have been 10 humans in 6 counties who have contracted WNV. Although the youngest is 32 and the oldest is 86, the average age of all ten is 57 years old with 6 being males and 4 being females

Please refer any questions you may have concerning our County WNV program to Tom Murphy, County WNV Coordinator at 570-433-3040.  You may also review the State WNV web site at: http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/.


September 7, 2005 - HARRISBURG  State officials today reported positive mosquito samples for the West Nile Virus in these locations: the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County; the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County; Edwardsville Borough and Ashley Borough, Luzerne County; Hamilton Township, Franklin County.


September 6, 2005 - The PA Department of Environmental Protection's West Nile Program and the Lycoming County WNV Program, will be conducting truck mounted ultra low volume (ULV) mosquito control operations in one large location in Lycoming County. The areas to be treated will include small portions of suitable habitat in the vicinity of Antlers Lane in Woodward Township and the Reach Road area of the City of Williamsport. The control work has been scheduled for Wednesday September 7, 2005 during the late afternoon and/or early evening hours.

Recent high populations of adult mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile Virus, combined with the detection of the virus in adult mosquito collections, prompted the need for these adult mosquito control operations.

Vector Disease Control Incorporated (VDCI) the state wide adult mosquito control contractor for the 2005 West Nile Virus field season will be performing the application. The business unit (BU) number for VDCI is BU 8934. Brian Bruno is the contact person for VDCI and will be on-site performing the control work. I will also be on-site during the application work.

Truck mounted ULV spraying equipment will be used to conduct the application. Thick vegetated areas and wooded areas will be primarily targeted. There will be no aerial spraying. The product used will be "Pyrocide". The product is designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes.

Weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, low surveillance counts of adult mosquitoes or other unforeseen events could delay or cancel portions of this event. A rain date will be scheduled if necessary. The attached form is required by PEMA and may partially be a duplication of the above information.

Please contact John Ryder, Regional WNV Coordinator (Water Management Program) at 570-327-3417 if you have any questions.


September 1, 2005
- HARRISBURG - State officials today reported four mosquito samples testing positive for the West Nile Virus. They are located in: Edwardsville Borough, Luzerne County (2 samples); the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County; Hamilton Township, Franklin County.


August 24, 2005 - Per the news release from the Department of Health, four (4) additional "positive" mosquito samples have been identified in the City of Williamsport and one (1) additional sample as been identified in Old Lycoming Township. This brings the TOTAL to date this years as: 8 for the City of Williamsport, 1 for Old Lycoming Township and 1 for Lycoming Township.   For additional information concerning the Lycoming County West Nile Virus Program, please contact Tom Murphy, County WNV Coordinator at 570-433-3040.


August 23, 2005
- HARRISBURG - State officials today announced three mosquito pools have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.   The mosquito pools are located in Ephrata Borough, Lancaster County; Lycoming Township, Lycoming County; and Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.


August 22, 2005
- The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a mosquito spraying activity to be done tomorrow (Tuesday) evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. This will cover parts of the City of Williamsport, Lycoming Township, Old Lycoming Township and Woodward Township utilizing Ground Based Truck/ATV/Handheld/Backpack Applications.


August 16, 2005 - State officials today reported eight mosquito pools testing positive for the West Nile Virus. Five of the positive pools are located in Hamilton Township, Franklin County. One positive pool each is located in the city of Allentown, Lehigh County; the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County; and Nottingham Tonwship, Washington County.


August 10, 2005 - WILLIAMSPORT: Environmental Protection Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell today announced plans to conduct truck-mounted spraying to control the adult mosquito populations in one large area in Lycoming County, where sampling by the county’s West Nile Virus Control Program has shown mosquitoes that potentially can carry the West Nile virus.

Weather permitting, spraying will be conducted during the early evening hours on Thursday, Aug. 11 in the vicinity of Antlers Lane in Woodward Township and South Reach Road in Williamsport.

Vector Disease Control Inc. from State College will conduct all truck-mounted adulticide treatment operations. The product that will be used is a material commonly known as "Pyrocide" The product is designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis; people over 50 have the highest risk of severe disease.

Earlier this summer, the state reported its first human case of West Nile virus for the 2005 season. There have been three confirmed cases so far this year. Last year, 15 cases of human West Nile virus were detected in Pennsylvania, resulting in two fatalities.

There are things every individual can do around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas. Some of these tips include:

· Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property.

· Pay attention to discarded tires. Stagnant water in tires are where most mosquitoes breed.

· Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.

· Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

· Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Stagnant water in a wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to breed.

· Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitats for domestic mosquitoes.

· Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.

· Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes may breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.

· For standing water that can’t be eliminated, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement, and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

In addition, here are some simple precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly for those individuals who are most at risk:

· Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

· Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.

· When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.

· Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.

For more information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program, go to  www.westnile.state.pa.us.

 
August 10, 2005 - HARRISBURG -- State officials today reported seven mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquito pools are located in: Warminster and Warrington Townships, Bucks County; German Township, Fayette County; the City of Williamsport, Lycoming County; and three pools in Hamilton Township, Franklin County.  For further information concerning the Lycoming West Nile Virus Program, please contact Tom Murphy, County WNV Coordinator at 570-433-3040.



August 4, 2005PA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - HEALTH ADVISORY 11

FROM:   Calvin B. Johnson, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health
SUBJECT: First Human Casesof West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania - 2005 season
COUNTIES AFFECTED:   Statewide Distribution

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) is releasing the following informationregarding the appearance of West Nile Virus (WNV) in human cases in Pennsylvania (PA).

The PADOH reported its two first human cases of WNV in PA this year. The first human case was reported on July 20th, 2005. The individual is a 32-year-old female from York County.  The second case is a 33-year old female from Lancaster County. The fact we have seen the first human infections from WNV reminds all of us that we should take and recommend precautions to help reduce the risk of exposure.

The PADOH, Environmental Protection and Agriculture continue to implement a comprehensive WNV surveillance and control program. In this regard, the state is emphasizing education, source reduction and larval mosquito control.  Mosquitoes, sentinel chickens, horses, crows and other wild birds are being monitored for the presence of West Nile virus.  The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded grants to counties to carry out mosquito surveillance and control activities.  There will be public information campaigns to educate citizens about the need to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites on their property and in their communities, including standing water and tire pile sites.  Areas with mosquito larvae problems will be treated with such products as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus.  These two products are naturally occurring bacteria found throughout the world.  They have shown very low environmental impact when used in mosquito control.  If it becomes necessary to implement adult mosquito control, all products used will be EPA-approved products.  With these efforts, it is hoped that WNV activity in the Commonwealth will be minimized.

CDC has issued guidelines for infants born of West Nile infected mothers.  The article can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5307a4.htm.

CDC has updated the use of insect repellants: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm  

Last year, West Nile virus was found in 46 counties. It was identified in 15 people with two deaths and in one Blood donor. There were 46 birds, 163 mosquito pools and 37 sentinel chickens samples that tested positive. Also, there were 9 horses that became ill from infection. Pennsylvanians should presume that West Nile virus is present throughout the state and should take appropriate precautions. In 2003, West Nile virus was detected in 237 Pennsylvanians and contributed to the deaths of eight people.

This information is current as of August 4, 2005, but may be modified in the future. We will continue to post updated information regarding the most common questions about this subject.


July 29, 2005 - HARRISBURG--July 29-- State officials today reported three mosquito pools testing positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquito pools are in Hamilton Township, Franklin County; the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County; and Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County.


July 22, 2005 - The PA Department of Environmental Protection's West Nile Program and the Lycoming County WNV Program, will be conducting a truck mounted ultra low volume (ULV) mosquito control operation in three separate locations of Lycoming County. The areas to be treated include the following: a large application site is in the vicinity of Antlers Lane in Woodward Township and another is located near South Reach Road in the City of Williamsport. The third and final site is located near Zinck Road in Mifflin Township. The control work has been scheduled for Monday July 25, 2005 during the late afternoon and/or early evening hours.

Recent high populations of adult mosquitoes, along with past samples collected in the area detecting species capable of transmitting West Nile Virus, have prompted the need for this adult control work.

Vector Disease Control Incorporated (VDCI) the state wide adult mosquito control contractor for the 2005 West Nile Virus field season will be performing the application. The business unit (BU) number for VDCI is BU 8934. Brian Bruno the contact person for VDCI will be on-site performing or supervising the control work. I will also be on-site during the application work.

Truck mounted ULV spraying equipment will be used to conduct the application. Thick vegetated areas and wooded areas will be primarily targeted. There will be no aerial spraying. The product used will be "Aqua-Reslin". The product is designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes.

Weather conditions, equipment malfunctions or other unforeseen events could delay or cancel this event. A rain date will be scheduled if necessary.

For more information, contact John W. Ryder, Regional West Nile Virus Coordinator, Water Management Program, at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 208 West Third Street, Suite 101, Williamsport, PA. 17701, at 570-327-3417.

 

APRIL 2005 -
STATE OFFICIALS REMIND PUBLIC OF
PRECAUTIONS FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

HARRISBURG: Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty and Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today reminded Pennsylvanians that it’s the time of the year to start taking precautions against West Nile virus (WNV) and noted that efforts have already started to detect and control mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.  The three agencies are part of a multi-agency effort to help control WNV in Pennsylvania.
 
“With the recent warm weather, it’s time for everyone to start thinking about West Nile virus,” Dr. Johnson said.  “People can protect themselves against West Nile virus by using insect repellant when they know that they will be in an area that could expose them to mosquito bites.”
 
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is coordinating the county-based mosquito surveillance and control portion of the multi-agency West Nile virus effort. DEP recently announced grants to counties to control mosquitoes that carry the virus. 
 
“DEP and its county partners have been working hard on an aggressive mosquito surveillance and control program to help us contain the virus in Pennsylvania,” McGinty said. "Our experience is helping us target resources and ensure our field programs are even more effective. Residents still play an important role, too. People should continue to look for standing pools and puddles on their properties and remember: ‘Dump it. Drain it. Treat it.’ Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so get rid of standing water or treat it as soon as possible.”
 
If standing water cannot be removed, products that kill mosquito larvae are available at many lawn and garden, home improvement, hardware, and other retail stores. DEP and county staff use environmentally sensitive materials to control the mosquito population. To kill larvae, the predominant method of mosquito control, Bti and Bsph are used. These naturally occurring bacteria attack the digestive system of the mosquito larvae and have no effect on people, animals, plants or other insects. The other control product is an insect hormone, methoprene, which prevents mosquito larvae from developing into adults.
 
DEP and county coordinators use equipment called light traps, gravid traps and dippers to collect mosquitoes for surveillance purposes.  During surveillance activities, officials search for immature (larvae and pupae) and adult mosquitoes.  Once found, the mosquito species is identified and evaluated for WNV probability, population and geographic distribution.  When large numbers of mosquitoes known to carry WNV are detected, they are controlled using a naturally occurring bacteria or mosquito growth hormone. Both these methods are harmless to humans and aquatic life.  The Departments of Health and Agriculture also perform laboratory testing to determine if the virus is present in mosquitoes, animals and humans.
 
“West Nile virus is a major concern for the agriculture community,” Secretary Wolff said. “As the warm weather approaches, like all homeowners, farmers and other animal owners should eliminate all standing water from their properties and identify potential on-farm problem areas.”
 
Wolff said that horses are especially susceptible to illness from WNV, and equine owners should consult their veterinarian about the two vaccines available. Pet owners can also talk to their veterinarian about repellants safe for domestic pets. 
 
As part of the state’s WNV program, citizens are asked to report dead bird sightings so that officials can identify potential areas for enhanced surveillance.  Pennsylvanians can report dead birds on-line at www.westnile.state.pa.us or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH.  The West Nile Surveillance Program will collect up to five dead birds a week per county throughout the entire WNV season.  Citizens can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to find out if the dead bird they have sighted is appropriate for testing. If a bird is chosen for testing, citizens will be asked to deliver the bird to a centralized collection site.
 
Pennsylvanians can take a few simple steps around their homes to reduce the risk of WNV.  Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, even a small bucket containing standing water for only four days can become home to many mosquitoes.
 
Tips to eliminate standing water include:
 
• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.

• Pay special attention to discarded tires on your property.

• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Drainage holes that are located on a container’s sides allow them to collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed.

• Clean roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked and can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis.

• Turn over wheelbarrows, and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths for more than four days. Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes.

• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable, but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in water that collects on swimming pool covers.

• Landscaping can eliminate standing water on your property. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.
 
In people, WNV most often causes mild infections. In rare instances, the virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that causes an inflammation of the brain and sometimes death. While anyone can contract WNV, adults over 50 years of age are at increased risk of developing severe illness.  In addition to transmission through the bite of an infected mosquito, WNV can be transmitted through organ donation, blood transfusion, occupationally, and may be transmitted from mother to child (breastfeeding and transplacental). However, only a small proportion of WNV cases are transmitted in ways other than the bite of an infected mosquito.  
 
WNV cases occur primarily in the late summer or early fall, although mosquito season is usually April through October. In 2004, WNV was identified in 46 birds, 163 mosquito pools, 9 horses, 37 sentinel chickens and 16 people, with two human deaths.
 
A website providing background information and regular updates about the WNV and is available at www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: “DEP West Nile ” or at www.westnile.state.pa.us. Visitors to the website can sign up to automatically receive news releases and other updates via e-mail.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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